A COMPLETE Tube Virgin!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by latheofheaven, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Even better! :)
     
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  2. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    There's a link to his music room in the first post with a ton of visible albums.
     
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  3. Lowrider75

    Lowrider75 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I saw that, nice display and storage of LPs. And those speakers need to be seen to be believed.
     
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  4. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Thanks Bro! My brilliant stereo designer friend helped me with the design and machining. Yeah, as I comment on the picture, I categorically REFUSE to store my albums sideways like most do (I would go blind for sure!) I actually like to be able to SEE them and flip through them easily like at a record store, so I built those simple shelves :)
     
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  5. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I can't help you much with tube choices in your phono preamp. I haven't played with a phono preamp like that with those tubes.

    What I can say is that there is a wide variety of tube sound with tube gear. All tube gear does not have a similar style of tube sound.

    My experience is with headphone amps. I've heard expensive ($2k+) and very good tube headphone amps that have a large headstage, excellent transparency, along with the tube sonic holography thing going on. Those are generally SET style or OTL style amps. I've also heard expensive ($2k+) and well regarded tube amps that have a pretty flat soundstage and imaging along with a more aggressive sound and more aggressive transients. A style of tube amp someone might prefer for rock music. I've also heard tube amps that I could mistake for a solid state amp. There is a wide variety of sound styles from tube amps. You can't just listen to one piece of tube gear and learn what tubes sound like or learn how tubes will get along with your system and sonic preferences.
     
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  6. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Yep, from what I've read so far I think you're right. I really like this great Asian fellow on YouTube, I think his name is Thomas. He's really excellent about explaining this kind of stuff. He talks about how the 'Tube sound' can go anywhere from super soft, mellow, and liquid to sounding like you say is just like a SS amp. What I've been able to tell (I THINK) so far is that the signature and soundstage that I am getting with this phono amp is more three dimensional front to back and more 'airy' in its presentation. The bass going through my Crown is definitely tighter and less boomy.

    Like I say, I've always gotten what I THOUGHT was a really good, detailed soundstage and image from my the two phono sections in my Sherwood amps, but I am most definitely getting a different flavour here with this tube phono amp. I know I've barely really gotten started with it, but my early impressions are that since my system has a general tendency to a fuller, less 'bright' sound due to the tall open dipole multiple driver arrays and the strong bass from the Crown and the 2-15" dipole woofers, and only having one ribbon tweeter a side, I'm kinda thinking that maybe down the road trying tubes that are known for a bit more of a 'clarity and extension' in the mids and highs would be more complimentary to the rest of my system.

    It's interesting how my stuff is matched together. I have a super detailed very clinical line contact stylus, but a TT that is known to be a bit more reserved. I'm using two pair of Randall interconnects which are very 'Live' sounding, but the way the speakers are set up leans a bit more toward the less bright side. The tube phono amp is now lending more nice detail and space and tightness, which is definitely going in the right direction. Actually, I'm pretty happy with it as it is now. But, since with tubes you DO have such a frigg'n variety of options, I'm really trying to learn as much as I can about them. I THINK what I've gathered so far from reading a lot of forums is that the 6n2's seem to be preferred by some, but the 12AX7's are thought to be a bit bolder and fuller (which I don't really need) So, I'll just keep on a'read'n and a'learn'n :D

    Appreciate all the input people, thanks!
     
  7. Lowrider75

    Lowrider75 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    According to Wikipedia, you may be limited in tube choice with 6n2. They are new production only, whereas there are countless brands and types of 12AX7s. And NOS tubes are more durable and sound better than new.
    6N2P - Wikipedia
     
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  8. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Excellent, good to know, I wasn't aware of that, thanks! :cheers:
     
  9. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    You may wanna look at the amps that uses 6n2 for some of them use and adaptor to plug in a 12ax7. Just ask them what experiences they have. Its just a thought. I have an amp that had the same tube, I never had the chance to try it....
    wait..... I just remember. You wanna get in touch with this guy @5-String coz he's using that method. Atleast you be getting a real good opinion with that guy.
     
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  10. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Thanks, that sounds helpful! The phono amp I have uses both with a switch to choose which one. I will check into it.

    Oh, and since your name is Classic Car Guy...









    I'm just now getting ready to arrange to get my 1969 Mustang, which I've had for about 20 years FINALLY looked at because the frame underneath has broken in a few places. I just met the guy today who will be taking a look at it (Please excuse the ladder on the top :))

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Lowrider75

    Lowrider75 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Oh man, so choice!! I love classic Mustang's. Such a shame to have a broken frame.
     
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  12. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    My claim to classic car fame is surviving a wreck that totaled a late 60s Mustang. Mom was driving and wiped out on black ice. It's amazing kids survived the 60s and 70s before real seat belts and real child car seats.
     
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  13. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Whoa... Glad you survived mate!
     
  14. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Thanks! When I met this guy today he was super nice, it's a family business (like mine - that is my Dad a few years ago before he passed away that you can see on the passenger side in my car - he worked with me until he was 88) After a year and a half of waiting, I FINALLY feel like I just might have some hope of getting it fixed. He and his son a couple of years ago completely rebuilt a 1966 Mustang from the ground up, only keeping the original roof, they replaced all the other metal. So, at least I know that he knows what he is doing. He's busy for about another month, so after that, here's hoping! :D
     
  15. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    It was a low speed crash. Winter driving conditions. But still totaled a Mustang.
     
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  16. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Yeah, still not good... :shake:
     
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  17. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    I have found that, by a substantial margin, the choice of amplifier will make the biggest difference in sound. Tube amplifiers, more so than solid state amps, vary greatly sonically, and the matching of an amp to your particular speaker choice is extremely important. I don't think one can fully appreciate the attributes of a tube-based system until the amplifier is an appropriate tube amplifier. The choices for amplifier can be quite complex, involving basic design (pushpull vs. single ended, vs. output transformerless), tube type, tube brands, choice of parts (output transformer being particularly critical), compatibility with the speaker (appropriate power for the efficiency of the speaker, appropriate output impedance for the particular speaker, etc.) and your particular taste. I would suggest that someone new to tubes find an experienced friend or a helpful dealer to sort through possible candidates. I am a tube fan who employs tubes in all of my components--linestage, phonostage, amplifier and headphone amplifier--except for my music server/DAC. But, to me, because of the wide ranging sonic quality of tube gear, most of the gear I like the least are actually tube-based gear. That is why one MUST personally audition the gear, preferably in one's own system, before making a purchase.
     
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  18. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Sounds like excellent advice! Thanks for the detailed input. From Thomas's comments so far about tubes, I've taken note that the push-pull will likely be better for my system since I'm kind of thinking that the single ended just won't be powerful enough. So, little by little... :) Thankfully since we are spoiled with Amazon here, if I ever do seriously want to try out an amp (except some of the more esoteric ones) that will indeed give me some time to 'audition' it with my system. I'm REALLY lov'n what I'm hearing about the Decware. It sounds like this guy was handed down directly from Heaven! I mean frigg'n EVERYBODY is categorically impressed with his Zen amp, despite it being 2.x watts/channel.

    The one (of many things) that I am not totally sure about, although I've read some promising stuff recently, is that I am not COMPLETELY sure how efficient my tall line-array open dipole towers are. Now, SUPPOSEDLY with multiple full range drivers (only the ribbon tweeter has one capacitor as a crossover on it) supposedly, this SHOULD make it super efficient with each doubling of drivers adding 3 db to the sensitivity, but I'm not absolutely sure. IF that is true AND I can continue to bi-amp using my very powerful Crown to drive the 15" dipole woofers, then TECHNICALLY, yes, I should be able to get away with some kind of super pure, primo tube amp like that to drive the high-end, but I'll just have to see after continuing to do more research... For some weird reason, almost none of these trick amps have a frigg'n Pre-Out to bi-amp (but, they stupidly have what seems to me a completely unnecessary Pre-In...??? WTF!? You're buying the damn integrated amp, WHY the hell would they bother to set it up to use another preamp...??? STUPID! A Pre-Out makes SO much more sense - that is one advantage to the Primaluna, they do have that!) BTW, I do NOT go anywhere near DAC's... for me personally, it is vinyl all the way for my primary system, period :)

    Really appreciate all the helpful input Bro, thanks!
     
  19. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    It is not only efficiency that matters when it comes to matching lower-powered tube gear and speakers. Compatibility is a bit more complex. There is a thread in this forum about boxy speakers where a poster going by the name Chervokas has some very helpful advice, and includes this useful, if somewhat complex link:

    DHTRob - Tubefriendly loudspeakers?

    San Diego has a store that specializes in lower-powered tube gear--Deja Vu West. It is affiliated with the store Deja Vu Audio which is in my area (suburb of Washington DC). That would be a good place to start to look at tube gear.
     
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  20. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Wow, that is excellent, thank you! [​IMG]
     

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